Refusal Of Accused In Sexual Offence Case To Undergo Medical Examination Shows Unwillingness To Cooperate With Investigation : Supreme Court

Update: 2024-06-12 06:29 GMT
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The Supreme Court on Monday (June 10) directed a person accused of sexual assault of his 9-year-old daughter to undergo a medical examination, observing that his refusal would amount to non-cooperation with the investigation.The Court was hearing a petition filed by the mother of the victim girl challenging the Karnataka High Court's order staying a police notice asking the accused to appear...

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The Supreme Court on Monday (June 10) directed a person accused of sexual assault of his 9-year-old daughter to undergo a medical examination, observing that his refusal would amount to non-cooperation with the investigation.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by the mother of the victim girl challenging the Karnataka High Court's order staying a police notice asking the accused to appear for medical examination.

Initially, the High Court passed an order staying coercive actions against the accused. This was conditional on the accused cooperating with the investigation. After the High Court's order, when the police issued a notice to the accused asking him to appear for medical examination, he protested. He filed an application before the High Court stating that the Investigating Officer was threatening him with arrest if he did not tender himself for medical examination at the same hospital where the victim was examined. Following that, the High Court stayed the notice which mandated the accused to undergo medical examination.

Noting that the High Court's first interim order was subject to the accused cooperating with the investigation, the Supreme Court observed that his refusal to undergo medical examination showed that he was not cooperating with the investigation.

"In any event, his clear statement to the effect that he did not want to be subjected to medical examination shows that he is not willing to cooperate with the investigation," the bench comprising Justices PV Sanjay Kumar and Augustine George Masih observed.

" Respondent No.2 has to comply with the Section 41-A notice and subject himself to medical examination as directed by the Investigating Officer. He cannot voice apprehensions about the medical facility that he is being referred to without any tenable basis", the bench observed

Staying the impugned order of the High Court, the bench directed the accused to be present before the Investigating officer for medical examination on July 10, 2024 at 10 A.M.

"We are constrained to stay the order dated 23rd May, 2024 passed by the High Court of Karnataka in IA No. 2 of 2024. Respondent No. 2 shall present himself before the Investigating Officer on 10th July, 2024 at 10.00 a.m. for being subjected to medical examination."  

The case involved serious offences under S. 6, 10 the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act), S. 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and S. 75 of The Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children Act, 2015).   

Advocates Mr A Velan (AOR) and Ms Navpreet Kaur appearing for the Petitioner before the Supreme Court submitted that the impugned order overlooked the medical report indicated sexual intercourse and the victim's statement under Section 164 CrPC which implicated the accused. 

Case Details :  Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No(s). 7880/2024  

Citation : 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 419

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